It’s the Most Wonderful Time, Of the Year

Does that little jingle make you think Christmas? Well stop it, it’s not what I’m talking about. Halloween neither even though it’s a great little holiday. No, I’m talking about review time. That time during the year when the review fairy comes down from on high where she’s been hanging out with Jesus and John Lennon and other people too cool to talk to you and brings her magnanimous 2.76% raises to bestow on all the little people, if they were good this year.

Like Santa, the review fairy has ways to know whether you’ve been naughty or nice. One of the ways is called “The Self Review”. It sounds important but really all it is is a way to take your balls and put them in a vice and give you the opportunity to tighten the screws. See, I told you she was magnanimous. Three things can happen with self-reviews and like throwing a pass in the NFL, two of them are bad. Those two things are you’re honest and you tell your overlords about all the internet you surf at work which then results in you getting a bad review or you totally oversell yourself and the overlords figure that you’re a self-promoting prick with an agenda.

In the end, it shouldn’t be my damn job to review myself. They are bloody well paying my boss to know what I do every day (trust me, he drops by enough that he should). The Self Review is a ridiculous piece of HR double-speak so that the Man can find new ways to screw you. In theory, it sounds like a great plan but like just like socialism, that never works out when you give the keys to the castle to the idiots.

On my Self Review this year, there are 4 places to review yourself plus the option to upload a document. What kind of ass-kiss has time in the day to write another completely separate document about his strengths and weakness and upload it into the system? Anyway, the four areas of review are “Accomplishment Summary”, “Key Strengths”, “Development Needs and Plans”, and “Job/Career Interests”. Each of these areas have little help buttons that you can click to explain them in more detail, you know just in case “Accomplishment Summary” wasn’t clear enough. For example, that one has the following detail: “Summarize your accomplishments in the past year, including misses. (No more than 10)” I think I’ll write “I’ve never had 10 misses in one year, not even in college and now that I’m married, the chances of that ever happening have dwindled.” Wonder if the review fairy would like that.

Key Strengths helps with “Describe your strengths and how they have changed in the past year. (3 to 5)”. I think I may Bart this one and do “I AM NOT AN FDIC INSURED ESTABLISHMENT” 5 times. Or maybe I talk about how at the beginning of the year I could only bench 185 but now I can do 210. Or maybe do a discourse on the differences in the Islay malts. That one would probably get me an extra .04 tacked on to that raise.

Development Needs and Plans helps with “Identify the most critical needs and responsive action plans. Describe opportunities to broaden/expand current job. (2 to 3)”. Um, the most critical needs are a quiet place to work and not having to buy my own extra monitor, video card and copy of Resharper. I have no idea what a critical responsive action plan is but if I figure it out, I’ll put it in here. In reality, isn’t “responsive action plan” an oxymoron? By definition, shouldn’t an action plan be about proactive behavior and not responsive behavior? Isn’t a little “horses have left the barn” to come up with an action plan to respond to things that already happened?

Overall, the self review is good for one thing and that’s being the punch line of a Dilbert strip. I have until November 10th to do it and I’m going to put it off as long as possible so that I keep my options open on exactly how to fill it out.

6 comments on “It’s the Most Wonderful Time, Of the Year

  1. Lucky you. We have to do something similar, except we have to rate ourselves on ten dimensions (called “The Expectations”) – things like “Manages Conflict Effectively”, “Handles Problem-Solving Wisely,” and “Builds Trust,” and write paragraphs on how we’ve performed up to scratch. We have to use this utterly ridiculous language to do it too. For instance, instead of ratings like Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, we have to say Excelling, Learning, Doing, Absent. I guess that’s so we don’t feel bad about ourselves if we get a rating less than Excellent. Personally, thought, being forced to dance around the issue makes me want to shove the Learning and Doing up their Absents.

    And then our supervisors do the same rating bullshit for us, and we have a come to jesus meeting where we sit down and make sure our answers match. If they don’t, then we have to have a fun conversation about why exactly WE think we’re performing better than they do, and why we are wrong.

    And as if that wasn’t enough to make you want to choke on your own vomit, then we have to write The Goals, basically our plan of action for the coming year, listing out What Will I Do, How Will I Accomplish It, and How Can My Supervisor Help Me. And god forbid you actually put specific projects as goals; your goals have to be touchy feely crap like “increase my interpersonal skills by attending more human resources seminars” or “try to be at work on time”… things that have nothing to do with how well you do your job.

    And guess what happens to all this paperwork? It goes up to a file in HR and I’ll eat my own underpants if anybody ever actually reads it.

  2. Lucky you. We have to do something similar, except we have to rate ourselves on ten dimensions (called “The Expectations”) – things like “Manages Conflict Effectively”, “Handles Problem-Solving Wisely,” and “Builds Trust,” and write paragraphs on how we’ve performed up to scratch. We have to use this utterly ridiculous language to do it too. For instance, instead of ratings like Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, we have to say Excelling, Learning, Doing, Absent. I guess that’s so we don’t feel bad about ourselves if we get a rating less than Excellent. Personally, thought, being forced to dance around the issue makes me want to shove the Learning and Doing up their Absents.

    And then our supervisors do the same rating bullshit for us, and we have a come to jesus meeting where we sit down and make sure our answers match. If they don’t, then we have to have a fun conversation about why exactly WE think we’re performing better than they do, and why we are wrong.

    And as if that wasn’t enough to make you want to choke on your own vomit, then we have to write The Goals, basically our plan of action for the coming year, listing out What Will I Do, How Will I Accomplish It, and How Can My Supervisor Help Me. And god forbid you actually put specific projects as goals; your goals have to be touchy feely crap like “increase my interpersonal skills by attending more human resources seminars” or “try to be at work on time”… things that have nothing to do with how well you do your job.

    And guess what happens to all this paperwork? It goes up to a file in HR and I’ll eat my own underpants if anybody ever actually reads it.

  3. Wow, OK so your self review process is clearly crappier than my self review process. I think all self-reviews are either touchy-feely political correctness designed to make people feel good about telling you that you suck or ways to screw people out of raises or both.

    I love career goals that are nebulous. Completely subjective measurement of nebulous goals is another way to show how you aren’t doing your job correctly. It’s politics of the worst kind and does much to kill what little morale we have.

    Though I am jealous that you can rate yourself as Absent. I’d like to rate myself as absent a whole lot more.

  4. Wow, OK so your self review process is clearly crappier than my self review process. I think all self-reviews are either touchy-feely political correctness designed to make people feel good about telling you that you suck or ways to screw people out of raises or both.

    I love career goals that are nebulous. Completely subjective measurement of nebulous goals is another way to show how you aren’t doing your job correctly. It’s politics of the worst kind and does much to kill what little morale we have.

    Though I am jealous that you can rate yourself as Absent. I’d like to rate myself as absent a whole lot more.

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